Stay cyber-safe in Gwent

Cyber Crime Team

 

Cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes are a form of serious and organised crime, which is the single biggest threat facing UK national security today.

The latest figures show that businesses in Gwent lost about £56,000 between April and September 2018. Of the 3,616 cases of fraud reported to Gwent Police between April 2018 and March 2019, 84 per cent were cyber enabled. Many more cases go unreported.

To meet this growing demand, Gwent Police have invested in a dedicated Cyber Crime unit. The unit, based in Mamhilad, comprises a Detective Sergeant, two Cyber Investigators, Cyber Protect Officer, Digital Media Investigator and Cyber CSO.

Temporary Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Pam Kelly, is the Cyber Crime lead for police forces in Wales.

Temporary Chief Constable Pam Kelly said  “Cyber Crime is a priority for Gwent Police. We work hard to tackle the ongoing cyber threat and alongside our dedicated Cyber Crime unit, frontline officers have also been upskilled to assist with investigations and provide cyber security advice.

“Gwent Police also has a Cyber Community Support Officer and Cyber Protect Officer who provide invaluable Cyber Crime prevention advice to businesses and communities.”

Jeff Cuthbert, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent said  “More than 50 percent of all crimes recorded by Gwent Police now have an online element. Policing must evolve to cope with this new and emerging threat and that is why I have put cybercrime at the forefront of my police and crime plan.

“Here in Gwent, we have invested in our specialist Cyber Crime Unit to meet this growing demand but businesses themselves need to be vigilant. Cyber criminals are evolving and businesses must ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest safety information and advice.”

Leigh Woolford, Cyber Protect and Prepare Officer, is the latest member of the Gwent Police Cyber Crime Unit. Her role is to support officers across Gwent Police to reduce the risk of repeat victimisation of cybercrime. She also delivers advice on becoming cyber resilient to local businesses.

She said: “We know that thousands of businesses across Gwent have been victims of some kind of cybercrime. We also know that many more cases go unreported.

“Fortunately there are some really simple steps that businesses can take to develop their cyber resilience and become more secure. Businesses can also contact me to come and give confidential advice and support.

“Above all I would urge businesses that have been victims to report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

For cyber-crime prevention advice, contact Leigh on Leigh.Woolford@Gwent.pnn.police.uk or 07970 164885.

Business tips to boost cyber resilience

  1.  Certify your business with Cyber Essentials. Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective Government-backed scheme that will help protect your organisation against common cyber-attacks. More details are available at www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk
  2. Patching. Keep software systems and devices updated regularly to ensure they are covered by the latest security features. 
  3. Use cloud storage. Cloud storage is a secure way to store your data instead of hosting it locally on hardware which may be vulnerable to cyber attacks.  
  4. Phishing. Utilise the free simulated phishing exercise ‘Not2Fish’ by the Regional Cyber Crime team to keep yourself and your staff aware of the risks of opening and clicking links from unsolicited emails. Contact Cyber Protect Officer Leigh Woolford for more information - Leigh.Woolford@Gwent.pnn.police.uk
  5. Test your business resilience. Exercise in a Box is a free, easy to use tool developed by the National Cyber Security Centre which tests business resilience to cyber-attacks and practices response. Go to www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/exercise-in-a-box
     
  6. Keep cyber security policies up to date. Consider becoming a member of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership which is a joint initiative set up by the government and businesses to exchange information on cyber threats in real time.

 If you have been a victim

If you believe your business has been the victim of a cyber/fraud related crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk where businesses have access to a 24/7 cyber-crime reporting function.